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Book of Boba Fett Theory Explains How Moff Gideon Will Return

Moff Gideon Star Wars return
By Andrew Gilman

The Book of Boba Fett has left things somewhat ambiguous regarding the central villains of the present-day storyline. While the Pyke Syndicate has invaded Mos Espa to challenge daimyo Boba Fett's rule, the shenanigans with the Mayor, his majordomo, and the Hutt twins suggest there could be another force at play behind the scenes. The full picture will be revealed in time, but the MandoVerse has already established a strong antagonistic presence.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett.

It took until the penultimate episode of The Mandalorian Season 1, but Moff Gideon arrived to a standoff on Nevarro to impose his will on the titular hero, nearly killing him in the finale. Gideon immediately proved he was intelligent, cunning, and ruthless, a demonstration of the efficiency a competent Imperial is capable of. Coming from a background with the ISB, the Moff was behind the Night of a Thousand Tears, which saw the destruction of Mandalore at the hands of the Empire.

Moff Gideon darksaber
Star Wars

When Din Djarin boarded Gideon's cruiser in the Season 2 finale to rescue Grogu, the Moff was waiting for him - the Darksaber held directly over the little one's head. Mando was able to defeat his foe in combat with relative ease, but Giancarlo Esposito's villain proved that his ability to manipulate was by far his greatest asset. Had Luke Skywalker not shown up at the buzzer to save the protagonists, Gideon would have successfully reclaimed Grogu and the Darksaber as his platoon of Dark Troopers eliminated the invaders.

The final minutes of that episode left Gideon in a precarious situation. Luke's arrival put fear in the Moff's eyes for the first time, and his attempt to shoot his way off the ship's bridge resulted in a knock-out punch from Cara Dune. Until recently, all fans could do was assume that he was captured and taken into New Republic custody.

Mandalorian Armorer
Star Wars

This was finally confirmed in The Book of Boba Fett "Chapter 5 - Return of the Mandalorian," as Din Djarin informed The Armorer and Paz Vizsla that Gideon was arrested and being interrogated by the galaxy's new governing body. His allies asserted that the Moff was deserving of death for the atrocities he committed to Mandalore, and Mando was resolute in stating that a tribunal would execute him if that was what they deemed justice.

But that's not going to happen. Beyond the out-of-universe need for a villain to keep The Mandalorian's storyline going, Moff Gideon is far too resourceful to allow capture by the New Republic to spell his doom. Esposito has teased that he'll be back, which means a jailbreak of some sort is on the way. How will the Imp pull it off? Look no further than The Book of Boba Fett for a set-up to Gideon's freedom.

Moff Gideon's Get-Out-Of-Jail Card

Moff Gideon jail
Star Wars

While he might not pass Go and collect $200, a way out of prison is being built up for Moff Gideon beneath the audience's noses.

The Empire is gone. What was once a proud (but corrupt) regime preferred to take care of business with brute force, making use of the Starfleet and legions of soldiers. Some entities, like the Hutts, were allowed to operate in their territory, but the Imperials always kept a watchful eye. Darth Vader didn't shy from calling in bounty hunters when his own men were too inept to complete a task, but he was more an exception, not the rule.

But that was on the surface.

One of the primary reasons the Empire fell was because it was rotten to the core. There was corruption in every realm, from disloyal recruits to the deceitful Emperor who was truly a Sith Lord masquerading as a politician. A point the canon stories have worked to drive home is that there is no loyalty in the Empire, and those who do believe in the regime often meet horrible, lonely fates.

The reemergence of Crimson Dawn in the Marvel Comics has shone a spotlight on the galactic underworld. Lady Qi'ra successfully got her crime syndicate back in the game while making an enemy of Boba Fett in the War of the Bounty Hunters miniseries, and Crimson Reign is currently presenting her efforts to topple the Sith. Ongoing runs tying into these stories have revealed that Qi'ra has allies throughout the Empire, allowing her to strike from all angles.

Boba Fett Crimson Dwn
Star Wars

It was noted before that Boba Fett's true enemy doesn't seem to be known at the moment. The Pykes will be able to give the crime lord a run for his money, but the hired muscle he'll have in Mando and other bounty hunters, along with his and Fennec Shand's own skills, will be more than enough to destroy the spice dealers' efforts on Tatooine. While they may be ambitious, the Pykes aren't the kind of group to make a big power play.

Crimson Dawn is that kind of group. Qi'ra has long been speculated to make a return in The Book of Boba Fett, and there's nothing the show has presented that suggests such an occurrence would be impossible. The Pykes and Crimson Dawn were once allies, after all; serving under Maul, the organizations were able to thrive. The comics demonstrate that Qi'ra is a convincing leader with a significant ability to control others. So the Pyke Syndicate operating for Crimson Dawn is certainly conceivable.

Should that be the case, Moff Gideon has his ride out of jail. With so many in the Empire having secret connections with Crimson Dawn and Gideon being as calculated as he is, there's a good chance the former ISB officer kept contact with the syndicate should he have need of their services. Doing so would be mutually beneficial, and after the fall of the Empire, there's no reason to believe such an agreement would be terminated.

The Imperial Remnant, unlike the mighty Empire, has been shown to be willing to work with lowly entities to accomplish goals. In "Chapter 12" of The Mandalorian, a mechanic on Nevarro is actually a spy working for Gideon who outfits the (briefly) repaired Razor Crest with a tracking beacon. If Gideon is accepting the services of the galaxy's sniveling scum, then a union with one of the most powerful crime syndicates is on the table.

After his capture, Gideon was undoubtedly transferred to one of the most secure facilities the New Republic has to offer. Given his time spent with ISB, there's no chance the Republic will be able to get the Moff to break. He's the manipulator, not the one who caves to feeble tactics.

When the time is right, Crimson Dawn will set a plan into motion and bust Gideon out of incarceration. It's unlikely that the organization is something the New Republic pays much attention to - certainly not with comics' the implication that Qi'ra aids Leia in saving Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt in some capacity. The group will be revealed as the force behind the Pykes by the time the credits of The Book of Boba Fett's final episode roll, and from there they'll get to work on freeing Gideon in The Mandalorian Season 3.

Doing this will put a target on Qi'ra's back. Boba Fett will have even more reason to want her dead than she's already given him, the New Republic will have to take the syndicate seriously as a threat, and some surviving Mandalorians may even be tempted to align with Crimson Dawn if it gives them the false hope of saving their world. One small move on a backwater world can put the entire galaxy on alert.

Gideon's Next Move

Moff Gideon Mandalorian
Star Wars

While he may throw in with the syndicate for the sake of having connections at his disposal, he won't be joining their ranks. His "long live the Empire" spiel and suicide policy for all in the Remnant should they risk capture displays a degree of fanaticism for the fallen regime that won't go away just because his ship was raided and forces plundered.

How much of the Imperial Remnant actually remains is another question entirely. Gideon's cruiser and primary task force may be gone, but there were other ships and crews under his command as well. Could it be as simple as getting out of jail and taking command of another ship? Or is the Remnant actually larger than has been revealed?

Gideon's role in The Mandalorian will continue to be tied to the main narrative. For some reason, Mandalorians are still in hiding, despite the Empire having been destroyed. In canon, the New Republic is seen as weak, but surely there should be enough order for Mandalorians to return to their world. Yet Bo-Katan has been busy stealing Imperial craft for her effort to retake the planet. Is it possible the Imperial Remnant is massive, and they're based on Mandalore?

This would give Din a reason to continue seeing Gideon as Public Enemy #1. It would likewise explain why Gideon was in possession of the Darksaber, and why he may be inclined to recover the weapon upon his liberation.

How Grogu fits into everything is still a question mark. Presumably, the Moff will still be hellbent on fulfilling his mission to study the midichlorians in a Force-user's blood. The Mandalorian featured several poorly formed Snoke clones in vats on Nevarro. It's groan-inducing to consider that Gideon could be serving under the Emperor on Exegol, but with Senile Sidious' presence in The Rise of Skywalker still leaving plot craters in the Star Wars narrative, anything is possible.

Grogu Luke
Star Wars

The first objective will be getting back on his feet and figuring out what the current state of the galaxy is; Gideon is a man who operates on knowledge. If he has a sizable contingent of loyalists remaining, he'll return to them and continue operating as Moff. Luke Skywalker may have been able to annihilate the Dark Troopers, but they were a credible threat to everyone else - creating more of those killer machines will be on the checklist, as well.

Once his Porgs are in a row, Moff Gideon will be able to act with the element of surprise and respond to things accordingly. The galaxy is posed to be thrown into chaos, despite the relative peace the New Republic brings. When the time comes for Din Djarin to retake Mandalore, his foe will be there to stand in his way.

The Book of Boba Fett streams new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+. The Mandalorian Season 3 will debut later in 2022.